We create beggars with our pity
You are out shopping. You are halfway down the list of things you had to buy and are rushing ahead to buy more.
Drowned under the weight of groceries and wiping off sweat from your forehead, you are wishing for the ordeal to be over. Then out of nowhere, you feel someone tugging the end of one of the shoppers and you hear this voice: “Apni ammi ka sadqa dedo beta, Allah tumhe Makkah Madina dekh na naseeb karey!”
You try to shake off the grip of the beggar while blabbering “Maaf karo!” but the person persists and refuses to let go. Extremely irritated, you rip out your wallet and hand over some cash to get rid of them.
With a sigh of relief you manage to throw your stuff in the car and are just about to drive away when another contingent of beggars comes your way.
But this time, it is because of your mistake. You paid.
Let me explain. It is pretty simple actually. The principal of demand and supply applies here as it applies to almost every worldly phenomenon.
When you give money to these people, whether you are trying to get rid of them or trying to satisfy your conscience, you create an incentive for them ,go to the next person and demand money again, while encouraging others to follow suit as well.
By giving away money, you create a demand, which is filled in the form of even more beggars coming to bug you.
You may give money because you consider it your religious duty to help the poor. Or you may be just doing it to part with a responsibility. Or maybe you want to achieve inner satisfaction.
You do it even while knowing that most beggars belong to mafias, minting money by promoting organized begging.
You might also have heard stories of these ‘poor people’ being picked and dropped in cars to their ‘workplaces’. You must have also heard about how kids are kidnaped to force to beg for these mafias who even don’t hesitate to chop off their limbs to cripple them for drawing more pity from people.
Do you stop and think who do you actually help by paying money to a beggar? Think about it… by doing so you might be making yourself an accomplice to a crime. Imagine, you helping a mafia kidnap, amputate and then forcing a life of slavery on children.
You can’t do that, right?
Now don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that you should not help the needy, who unfortunately in Pakistan, come in all shapes and sizes.
You can do that too by donating to the myriad of welfare organizations being run in the country. God knows we have too many of them, political or apolitical. But the reason they work is, to be able to do things you cannot easily achieve by yourself as an individual.
But then, when you genuinely want to help someone, you want to make sure that your money is spent on legitimate needs. You don’t give it away to anyone who tells you a sad story with crocodile tears in their eyes.
But then, who are we to judge? The person might genuinely be in trouble, you might say. But what about hundreds of others who exploit others’ goodwill?
Maybe if you really want to help someone in need, you might want to point them towards the door of a welfare organization or a place of employment. Teach them to fish, as they say, and not keep them begging for one every day. If they really do need help, they just might be grateful to you.
At least don’t just take out your wallet and hand over cash.